Every racehorse active in the sport has a dedicated trainer who is responsible for making sure it is race-ready and fit to compete at the highest level.

Owners often ask particular trainers to take on this mantle, although trainers can and often do own and train their own horses.

What does a racehorse trainer do?

Racehorse trainers make the day-to-day decisions on how a horse is cared for, including its exercise schedule, diet and schooling, in order to achieve peak physical condition for racedays.

They are also responsible, often in conjunction with the horse’s owner or their expert representatives, for deciding which races a horse will enter to give it the best chance of success. They will decide on this strategy for the season and build its training plan accordingly, all the while keeping owners informed about the horse’s progress.

What does a trainer do on racedays?

At the races, trainers oversee their horses’ final preparations (as they’ll often bring multiple horses to the track) and advise jockeys on the tactics they should use to get the best performance from the horse they’re riding.

Before deciding on these race tactics, trainers sometimes walk the course themselves before racing commences to make their own assessments of the track conditions and any area or channel of ground where jockeys may be able to gain an advantage with the horse’s physical fitness in mind.

What skills are needed to be a horse trainer?

Running a training yard or stables also means trainers are the owners of small-to-medium-sized businesses, which often means managing a large team of people who each play a crucial role in the careers of horses in their care.

This means that they are not only required to have an expert eye for the training regime every individual horse requires, but also the interpersonal skills to manage people and keep ambition and morale at its highest possible level. This is especially critical when training during the cold, dark days of winter!

Fast Fact

  • There is a Champion Trainer title for both Flat and Jump racing that is decided by the amount of prize money won at the end of each respective season
  • The majority of the earnings that a successful trainer will take home will come from prize money, so it pays to be extremely committed to the profession

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